St John keen on new building

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ST JOHN is about to begin fundrais› ing at least $1 million towards a new building in Jed St.
The new offices and ambulance station will be built on the current Jed St site next to the Invercargill Fire Station, and an adjacent car park currently used by St John. It will be a single›storey building with open plan offices, meeting rooms, training rooms and rest rooms for the night staff.
The development will also include space for St John’s three front line ambulances and a patient transfer vehicle.
St John district manager Southern Lakes Pauline Buchanan said the cost of the project had not been finalised yet but staff hoped to raise at least $1 million, which would also assist in purchasing new replacement ambulances.
St John had already allocated some funds for the project including $1 million donated several years ago by property developer and philanthro› pist Louis Crimp, she said.
Mr Crimp died in February last year.
The plans had received prelimin› ary approval from the South Island regional office and staff were now awaiting national approval. However, because the project had regional approval, fundraising could now begin, she said.
Some staff had moved to tempor› ary offices as plans for the new headquarters progressed. The administration team and operations managers relocated to 151 Tay St, next to First Church, last month to give the operational staff more space in Jed St.
‘‘[The Jed St office] was a good temporary space for the short›term, but it was never going to be enough space for the team for several years while the new building was com› pleted, so we decided to move here.
‘‘Finally we are seeing some move› ment [on plans for the new building] and we are happy that the oper› ational staff now have the additional space they require.’’
Moving staff to Tay St was a temporary measure while the new building next to the Invercargill Fire Station was completed, a project expected to take two to three years, Mrs Buchanan said.
At present, St John’s training and education staff are located in Vic› toria Ave. The new building will enable all staff from the three locations to be located together, Mrs Buchanan said.
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